Ellis Durant entered the suite and walked along the only path not cluttered by the entropy that had taken over in the two weeks since he had last visited. He looked around at the empty take-out boxes, stacks of photographs and reports that he had sent over, the random placement of magazines most of them laying open and face down. There was a pattern here. There was always a pattern
As he walked, he looked. He was observant. It’s what he lived for. To observe, to watch, to see. Sometimes you had to see what wasn’t there. There was always a pattern.
There were no clothes. All this chaos and there were no dirty clothes strewn about. Ellis blinked. The clothes would all be found neatly folded in drawers or hung in the wardrobe, each hanger facing the same way. The laundry stored neatly in a hamper, waiting for the service to come pick them up.
The mess was window dressing. An elaborate prop.
Sometimes the pattern was a lie.
Ellis came to a stop behind his employer, who was standing at a purposely cluttered counter fixing a drink.
“How’s our boy?” The older man dropped a handful of ice cubes into a glass, and poured the amber liquid over them before turning to receive his answer
“Tired,” the gray faced man replied flatly, “and nervous. He does not like it that you do not return his calls”
“Can’t do it, you know that.” He swirled his drink, watching the ice spin for a moment “I can’t have any direct contact with him at this stage.”
“So you have said.”
“You don’t believe me?” The old man took a long sip off his drink. “I’ll have to say I’m a little hurt by that.”
“To be clear Mr. Davis, I do not see my beliefs, or your feelings needing to enter into this.”
Davis smiled broadly and patted his shoulder. “You’re a good man Ellis.” He looked his companion over quickly, shrugged and then added, “Well you know what I mean.”
Ellis stared at him, waiting.
Davis turned and topped off his drink. “What has Jerry been up to lately?”
“As planned he has been meeting with Mr. Maslow and his associates. They are thoroughly satisfied with the credentials you have provided him. We have overheard several of them discussing offering our Mr. Standish a position in their organization.”
“What about her?”
“Jerry still spends most of his later evenings in the company of Ms. Karns,” little else on Ellis face besides his mouth moved as he spoke, “they were at his hotel room when I left.”
The older man pinched the bridge of his nose. “I ain’t askin about Janice. I know what they get up to at night, I order it. I mean Maslow’s boss, you know our actual objective. Any word on her.”
“They are certain she is on her way. They do not know when she will arrive. Some think she is already here. The word on her appears to be Baba. They don’t use her real name.”
“Neither should you. Especially, not in my presence.” Davis briefly fiddled with something around his neck, then dropped it back down his shirt. “We clear on that Mr. Durant? You do not speak her name anywhere near me.”
Ellis nodded, “I assume this measure is for security.”
“Yeah, mine. While we’re talkin security, from here on out if Jerry starts trying to discuss me you get him to change the subject, pronto. What about his language studies?”
“He uses the interactive course some. I have been helping him practice. His usage is crude but passable.”
“You speak Russian Ellis?”
The grey man just blinked at him.
Davis shook his head, “Of course you do.”